What to do when you arrive late in Japan?

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Punctuality is one of the main characteristics of the Japanese, and unfortunately Brazilians fail brutally when it comes to being punctual (I say from experience). You need to do your best to never be late for a place, so always try to be early.

If even train stations apologize for 20-second delays, arriving late in Japan is a source of immense shame. Sometimes a delay will happen, so you must be prepared to apologize in the right way. Remember to be the most formal and to-bow if you arrive late at secular work.

Being punctual in Japan is an obligation that determines whether you are a reliable person or not. If you are already aware that you are going to be late, it is a good idea to give advance notice. Don't even think about leaving to get up on time, if you always arrive 5 or 10 minutes early, you will leave an impression of a responsible and punctual person.


O que fazer quando chegar atrasado no japão?

Apologizing for being late in Japan

Most of the words related to delay come from the ideogram  which means slow, slow and delayed.

Portuguese Japanese  Romaji
I apologize for my delay 遅れてすみませんでした Okurete sumimasenn deshita
sorry for being late すみません、遅くなりました。 Sumimasen, osoku narimashita
I'm sorry for keeping you waiting お待たせしてすみませんでした。 Kills you if sumimasendeshita shite
Sorry for the delay (mild, informal among friends) 遅れてゴメン(ね) Okurete gomen (ne - female particle)
Sorry for being late (informal) 遅くなってごめん(ね) Osoku natte gomen
Thank you for waiting! お待たせしました! Omataseshimashita!
I'm sorry, I'm late (very formal) 遅れて申し訳ありません Okurete mōshiwake arimasen
Excuse me (not late, but almost) 失礼します Shitsureishimasu
Sorry for the delay, the train was delayed 電車が遅れていて、遅れてすみません Densha ga okurete ite, okuretesumimasen

Pay close attention to the phrases presented in this article so as not to get confused. If you are not late, but everyone is already present at the site, you can enter by asking for leave with the expression shitsureishimasu. Always use the phrases to warn that you will be late or that you may be late.

O que fazer quando chegar atrasado no japão?


Other Japanese phrases involving delays

Portuguese Japanese  Romaji
Shit, I'm late for class やばい、授業遅刻だ! Yabai, jugyou chikokuda!
Sorry for the delay, I missed the hour (I overslept). 遅れてすみません、寝過ごしました。 Okuretesumimasen, nesugoshimashita
You are late! おそいです Osoidesu
Sorry, I can be 10 minutes late すみません、 10 分ほど遅れるかもしれません。 Sumimasen, juubun hodo okureru kamo shiremasen.
Sorry, it looks like I'm going to delay すみません、遅れそうです。 Sumimasen, okuresoudesu.
Sorry, I'll be 5 minutes late すみません、5分遅れます。 Sumimasen, gobun okuremasu.

You can use the expression kamoshiremasen (かもしれません) to create a sentence saying that you will probably (maybe) be late. I hope these example sentences help you to apologize for being late in Japan. Remember! It is best not to be late!